12 February 2013
Walsall councillor’s anti-cuts challenge to Labour
THE WALSALL Democratic Labour Party (DLP) is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC), whose candidates stand for election on a platform of refusal to implement any cuts in public spending to pay for the economic crisis.
This week Walsall DLP councilor Pete Smith not only vowed to oppose local cuts of £13 million, and a council tax rise of 1.85%, but he also challenged the 28 Labour councillors on Walsall council to join him and thereby overturn the budget recommendations of Walsall’s minority Tory/Lib-Dem administration
“I wish to inform the people of Walsall Borough that I will vote against any budget resolution or amendment that includes a combination of £millions of cuts in services, job losses and/or increases in council taxes”, he told the Walsall Express and Star. “Why should the people of Walsall keeping having to pay out more money for ever diminishing services?”
“I would urge people to come to the public gallery at the next council meeting on Thursday 21st February to see what the ‘One Nation’ Labour Group of councillors – the largest party group on Walsall council – will do with regard to the 2013/14 budget. I ask them to come and witness for themselves exactly who it is that are making decisions that affect them, their pockets and their local services”.
“I hope that the 28 Labour councillors join me in opposing the cuts and rises in council tax but, given what their colleagues are doing in councils all across the country, namely making massive cuts, we should not hold our breath”.
“The likelihood is (and I hope I am wrong on this) that when the crunch vote comes, Labour will ensure that the controlling Conservative-Liberal coalition get their budget proposals through, just like they let the council leadership allowance rises through a few weeks back. They are likely to do this by either ensuring that there are not enough Labour councillors present at the meeting to halt the cuts, or more likely, to ‘sit on their hands’ and abstain when the key vote comes”.
The Council meeting where the cuts will be recommended is on Thursday 21st February 2013 at 6pm in the Council House, Lichfield Street, Walsall.